Having a pet is a lot of responsibility. You must feed them, take them to a veterinarian when they are not feeling well, provide for all their needs and of course, groom them, not only for their appearance to be pleasing but grooming and hygiene is also necessary for their health.
If it is your first time to have a horse, you might be overwhelmed on how to groom an animal that big. The list below could ideally be your checklist in making sure that your four-legged equine friend is properly and thoroughly groomed.
Clean Eyes and Nostrils
Horses rely on their senses, particularly their sense of sight and smell. If you have one and you would be riding them regularly, they must have clear eyes at all times. Clean nostrils would also help them detect if there are any imminent danger, especially if you would be riding in the wilderness. To maintain proper hygiene with your horse’s eyes and nostrils, it is advised that you only trim the eye and muzzle whiskers and not to shave it.
Similar to us humans, these hairs help in preventing injuries. So, to completely shave them is not recommended. Cleaning the horse’s eyes and removing the crust must not be neglected. To remove, use a clean sponge and gently wipe to get rid of the compacted discharge. Cleaning the nostrils is the same as cleaning the eyes, a clean sponge or damp rug is enough to remove any debris that might irritate the horse’s respiratory system.
Clean Legs and Hooves
Proper grooming the lower legs and hooves is important because neglecting them would become messier in the future. If the hair in the horse’s lower leg is long, the tendencies that dirt and mud would stick to it is higher. When dirt and grime are not properly cleaned, it could even cause skin problems.
When you clean the hooves, you must really get in there and it could be a chance for you to inspect if there are any cuts, scratches or swellings that needed to be taken care of. Cleaning the hooves thoroughly needs the use of correct tools such as knives, rasps and hoof picks. You could see more here of these gadgets and instructional videos on how to groom your horse.
Clean Nether Regions
Not all horse owners are a fan of cleaning their pet’s nether regions but some are really into keeping that area clean that they resorted to doing it every week, which is not advisable either. Three to four times a year is ideal, as long as there is no accumulation of dirt and secretion. If this is not cleaned, it could cause infection.
Clean Manes and Tails
Similar to us humans, the horse’s crown of glory is their manes (and tails). It is one of the things we notice on them, whether their manes and tails are shiny and flowy whenever we see these horses running. When we are able to come near them, we have this desire to run our fingers through them which is why it is also part of the grooming regimen to keep these locks tangle free.
Don’t be overwhelmed with all the parts of your horse that you need to groom. Doing it often would make it second nature for you in the end. Use this time as well to bond with your horse and for them to feel more comfortable around you.